JR SportBrief: Michael Jordan Should Have Eight Rings

It would have been "a helluva matchup," JR SportBrief says, but Jordan and the Bulls would have beaten Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets in 1994 and 1995

May 14, 2020 - 7:47 am
Michael Jordan 1998 Bulls

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Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in eight seasons in the 1990s. The only two times the Bulls didn’t win it all during that stretch? Jordan was playing baseball, as the Rockets won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995.

But what would have happened if Jordan hadn’t retired to pursue his first love?

“It would have been a helluva matchup to watch,” JR SportBrief said on CBS Sports Radio, referring to a potential Bulls/Rockets NBA Finals. “It’s something I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see. Granted, it did give Patrick Ewing a chance to get out there and potentially win a ring. But the Rockets, it seems like they were in a deciding game every way until they met the Magic.”

In 1995, the Rockets needed five games to beat the Jazz, seven games to beat the Suns, and six games to beat the Spurs. In other words, two series went the distance, and another almost did. This came after the 1994 championship, which the Rockets won in seven games.

“They had a tough road on the way to the championship,” JR said. “They won it in seven games (in 1994). I don’t know if that’d be the case against Jordan. I would still favor them. I think if Michael Jordan didn’t take his break, if Michael Jordan didn’t retire the first time, we would be talking about someone who won.”

All of this, of course, is hard to know for certain. Did the Bulls have the talent to win eight straight titles? Sure. But the physical and mental toll of eight straight deep postseason runs could have eventually caught up with them.

Then again, Jordan never lost in the NBA Finals. Heck, he never even played in a Game 7.

“I know it’s tough to say, but I think he’d pick up those other two rings,” JR said. “I think Michel Jordan would be sitting on eight if he didn’t retire. I love Hakeem [Olajuwon]. I love what the Rockets did. I grew up in New York City – I had an opportunity to watch to it with my own two eyes with excitement. But I think MJ – Michael Jordan and the Bulls – would tack on two more championships if he didn’t retire that first time. I think there are two rings missing right there.”